I didn’t realize it until the day after but we finally got our first goats on our 2-year anniversary of moving here! Meet Juniper Skye and her aunt Flora.
Flora, in front, may or may not stay here for long. My little Nigerian Dwarf Jasmine will be here in a week or two and then we’ll see. Flora may go home to be bred and one of her sons may come here or another auntie, older sister or mom of Juniper. We shall see. I absolutely adore her and she’s head-over-heels in love with me as well (she cries if I get more than 3 feet away from her) but she’s kind of a meanie to Juniper and if she doesn’t get over that nonsense, she’ll have to go back home when Jasmine arrives. My goal is to get her to chill the heck out because she’s in milk and what an amazing treat that is. She gave us an entire half gallon yesterday!
Juniper is my girl, 3/4 Toggenburg, 1/4 Nubian. She was born on one of my best friend’s farms down the street and I claimed her as my own before she even came into this world. She is amazing beyond words! She hasn’t been handled much and was very skittish the first day but she’s really warmed up to me and now lets me pet her 89-91% of the time and will eat out of my hand. That’s in less than 48 hours. My friend says I’m a natural and I may just need to raise/train all the babies between our two farms. Yes please! So on that!!
Paul kicked ass and finished building their house a couple hours after they got here. He is amazing! The whole thing, with the exception of screws, door hardware and some of the two-by-fours was totally free. Or trade. We are huge barterers around here. We traded pears, duck and chicken eggs for a mountain of wood pallets and barn metal, a hen for some more wood pallets, duck eggs and hugs for some plywood and were gifted a piece of suntuf for a skylight. Then I traded more duck eggs for grass hay and grain so we can just get a little bit at a time until we actually have a place to store it all (that’ll be in the shipping container when we finish the cabin and it’s not full to the hilt with furniture, art and music supplies). Actually we’ll probably build a metal shed. That may be faster. I need to come up with some sort of fundraiser like jam sales, art or healing sessions.
I laid out all of the pallets deciding how I wanted to make it and had Finn help me do the first hole to sink a peeler core a couple feet deep to slide to the corner pallets over for super strength and stability. Paul did the rest because apparently my designs are better on paper. He asks me questions about structural engineering and I stare blankly so he takes over. He’s the best husband I’ve ever had! (Only husband ever and it will obviously remain that way because he’s the best.)
I’m going to build a little covered feeding area off the right side of their house. And then it’s on to building their play structure. A goat playground is totally necessary! And the hammock to watch them from. I make chicken playgrounds out of branches, twigs, pallets and random things all the time but this is going to be so much more fun. Paul won’t let me use the chainsaw (because he’s smart!) so I need to wait and get a bit of help on that, but I can do all of the other necessary cutting now that he has adequately trained me on all sharp power tools. 🙂
Here is a picture of Jasmine, purebred registered Nigerian Dwarf, from a few weeks ago. Her birth name is JasmineJade but I call her Jasmine Meadow. Both girls were born in March, the 1st and the 8th, and that means more female Pisces energy up in here. Everyone needs more of that! I haven’t been able to pick her up yet because the breeder does shows at the state fair and some of the girls got a cold. They can spread that and it can develop into pneumonia so we’re waiting until her entire herd is 100% healthy and well before we bring her here. That’s why I borrowed Flora to begin with but now I like the idea of having three goats until I breed Jasmine next April or so. Then whoever I’m borrowing can go home if desired and I’ll have another baby goat. Juniper will be bred in summer for a spring 2020 baby. Hopefully they aren’t all boys because I don’t plan on keeping more than one, which we will make a wether. Any other boys either will be sold, traded or eaten. (I still haven’t even processed my own chickens yet so can you imagine me processing one of my baby goats!? Yeah, not happening, though it makes me feel more homesteady talking about it. Of course if we have another apocalypse like we did last year for any longer than a couple of weeks, all of that changes.)
Since bringing the stanchion over, all non milking creatures are loving it. Scruff the chicken first and then baby Juniper. Flora, the only one that needs it, isn’t terribly fond of it but yesterday was our second milking and it was infinitely better than the first. Day one was bucking bronco. Day two was finding her favorite back and butt massage spots and getting her to mellow out a bit.
Oh yeah, here’s the skylight. This will give them extra warmth in Winter as it’s south-facing but they’ll still stay cool in summer due to the angle and the trees overhead.
Excited so many people will be here to meet them this weekend. Pretty much all of our favorite humans will be here to celebrate all the things worth celebrating, like Paul’s 40th birthday, goats, life and all other good things. ♡